Court suspends sale of Better Place

The injunction was issued at the request of the electric car venture's liquidators, after Tsahi Merkur's check was not honored by the bank.

Lod District Court Judge Ilan Shiloh this afternoon issued a temporary injunction preventing the buyer of Better Place Israel, Tsahi Merkur, from carrying out any acts in the company. The injunction was issued at the request of Better Place's liquidators, after Merkur's down payment check was not honored by the bank.

Success Assets owner Tsahi Merkur gave Better Place Israel's liquidators a down payment of $508,906 for the acquisition of the company. The down payment was in the form of a check from JPMorgan Chase Bank of the US, amounting to 20% of the NIS 11 million price for the company. The check was delivered to the liquidators on Monday, but they say that the check is anonymous, without any details, including the details of the checking account owner.

An investigation by "Globes" found that inputting the check's details with Chase's telephone check verification system results in the response, "This is not a valid account".

"After the buyer (Success Assets - Y.A.) was told that the payment could not be carried out in this way, and that the check was returned the next day with a warning about breach of confidentiality, it was given a chance to correct this. But the buyer did not do this either," stated Better Place's liquidators, Sigal Rozen-Rechav and Shaul Kotler, in an urgent motion to the Lod District Court on Wednesday to order the buyer to act pursuant to the sale agreement of August 25.

They added, "There can be no question that the providing of this check does not constitute payment, since the money was not received in the liquidators' account, and the buyer is therefore in fundamental breach of the sale agreement."

The liquidators added, "The buyer's conduct since the date the sale agreement was signed has been devious and evasive. From the beginning, the buyer has done everything he could to raise obstacles in various ways, and has refused to cooperate with the special managers."

Kotler and Rozen-Rechav say that Success Assets chose to send a problematic check to their offices late in the day, denominated in dollars, rather than shekels, as required by the sale agreement. In this case, the foreign check is as if giving customer credit, for which the Bank of Israel requires a collection process, which could last for weeks or months. "When all this over, who will help us?" they ask.

Better Place Israel's new owner, EV Net Group, said in response, "The company has done everything required to keep its commitments, and we have kept them all. We have invested everything voluntarily, from our sources and wherewithal since the acquisition date of August 25 to move Better Place forward. Until now, we have invested NIS 30 million in guarantees and payments on the acquisition, and to rebuild and rehabilitate the company and expand the electric car recharging network."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 3, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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